Sunday 25 August 2019

Health Minister announced review of running of Waterford hospital mortuary

Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Aoife Moore/PA
Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Aoife Moore/PA

Eilish O’Regan

A review of the running of Waterford hospital mortuary has been ordered by Health Minister Simon Harris.

The mortuary has been at the centre of controversy for the last two weeks after pathologists warned of cramped conditions and lack of proper refrigeration facilities, forcing some deceased bodies to be placed in the corridor where they were at risk of leaking.

Mr Harris said today he will now draw up terms of reference for a review of the operation of the mortuary.

A modular prefab refrigerated building is to arrive on site on Friday to provide more temporary mortuary space.

He told the Dáil: "I want to take a couple of days to get this right and a couple of days in relation to terms of reference and who should carry out the review."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar apologised last week for his comments on the doctors' claims which he appeared to question.

He admitted he "got it wrong".

The State Pathologist’s office has already said it will no longer be making referrals to the mortuary for post mortem.

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